Month: July 2021

Modern Love

30 July, 2021 · Transmedia

Modern Love
Modern Love

“Modern Love” is The New York Times’ most widely read cultural column in both English and Spanish. It is also one of the paper’s most-listened-to podcasts and since 2019 a series on Prime with luxury casts that will premiere its second season this August. In the form of “life stories” and with exquisite editing of the texts, the 17 years of “Modern Love” are not just television material, but a true prospective of the evolution of American morality and bourgeois culture, its lacunae and its aftermath.

Coup in Tunisia: questions and answers

28 July, 2021 · Magreb

Celebrations of the coup in Tunisia
Celebrations of the coup in Tunisia

There has been a coup in Tunisia. After a day of anti-government demonstrations across the country, Tunisian President Kais ben Said, backed by the military leadership and trade unions, suspended the parliament, recalled Prime Minister Mechichi and stripped the ruling party of immunity. The islamists, who have been ousted from power are denouncing a coup d’état and the closure of the local branch of the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera is being used as proof of repression. Qatar, Turkey and the European media owned by Qatari capital, such as El País in Spain, are calling on Said to restore the Parliament. France and its press, on the other hand, support the President and welcome the opportunity. What is behind the coup in Tunisia? What does it mean for the workers?

The quantum race: from militarism to the privatization of internet

27 July, 2021 · Global situation

Prototype of a light-based quantum computer in Jiuzhang, China. With this computer, China has taken the lead in the quantum race.
Prototype of a light-based quantum computer in Jiuzhang, China. With this computer, China has taken the lead in the quantum race.

China is getting ahead of the U.S. in the quantum race. Last week, it announced beating Google’s most advanced quantum computer. Meanwhile, IBM began installing a major quantum computer development project in Germany, announced to great fanfare by the German government, which it claims will generate €75 billion of “value.” The imperialist conflict is being played out in several fields at once. Information technologies and in particular the quantum race are among the main ones.

Industrial shortages and the fifth wave: a precursor to an upsurge in the crisis and an exacerbation of economic nationalism

25 July, 2021 · Global situation

Ships are piling up at the mouths of the ports while industrial shortages are worsening.
Ships are piling up at the mouths of the ports while industrial shortages are worsening.

The industrial shortage is not limited to chips anymore. Hundreds of large companies are stopping production at different points in the global chain. The EU and Japan, fearful that U.S. harassment of Chinese products will affect their international investments, are pushing for accelerated repatriation of low-profit but high-impact industries. However, the new Covid wave and the floods in Germany and China have shown that industrial destocking and its aftermath for workers -temporary layoffs and even more precariousness…-are not a passing phenomenon.

Against the “Olympic Spirit”

23 July, 2021 · Sports

The flame, symbol of the Olympic Spirit in the Tokyo Stadium
The flame, symbol of the Olympic Spirit in the Tokyo Stadium

With minutes to go until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, preparations are being finalized in an atmosphere of disorganization, half-baked planning, protests, contagions, dismissals, corruption and grotesque propaganda. But even if these games were to be a paragon of organizational perfection, the “Olympic curse” of which the Japanese press speaks would still be at work because the real curse is the “Olympic Movement” itself and its ideology: the famous “Olympic Spirit.”

Strikes return to Zhanaozen ten years after the massacre

21 July, 2021 · Kazakhstan

Striking workers camped in yurts in Zhanaozen
Striking workers camped in yurts in Zhanaozen

Right now there are workers from half a dozen companies camped out in permanent and open assembly, incorporating workers from sectors that remain in apparent normality. Everything points to the fact that we may be in the first moments of a mass strike, spontaneously self-organized and centralized in an open assembly of workers at Zhanaozen.

Tokyo Olympics

21 July, 2021 · Japan · Sports

The Japanese army exercises today on the Olympic stadium in Tokyo in preparation for the inauguration on Friday.
The Japanese army exercises today on the Olympic stadium in Tokyo in preparation for the inauguration on Friday.

83% of Japanese people reject holding the Tokyo Olympics. And yet the Suga government and the IOC are determined to stick with an event that is dangerous for public health and most likely financially ruinous.

Extreme weather events: Is climate change to blame for deaths in Germany and Belgium or fires in the US?

19 July, 2021 · Global situation

Floods in Germany have caused severe damage and deaths mainly in flood-prone areas and buildings erected next to slopes and potential landslide areas, as in the photograph.
Floods in Germany have caused severe damage and deaths mainly in flood-prone areas and buildings erected next to slopes and potential landslide areas, as in the photograph.

It is well known, and this is stated in all official scientific reports, that climate change increases the risk of extreme weather events. However, this is something very different from such events necessarily translating into death and destruction of entire villages as we have seen in Europe or massive fires as we are seeing in the USA. If this has been the case, it is because states are not fighting against climate change and its impacts on populations, but for the Green Deal, that is, for subordinating this goal to the recovery of capital’s profits by extracting income en masse from the workers.

Refugees: new policies show EU’s lies and hypocrisies

17 July, 2021 · European Union

Greek police detain a Syrian refugee boy after beating him in a scene that became famous.
Greek police detain a Syrian refugee boy after beating him in a scene that became famous.

Over the past month EU countries such as Denmark and Lithuania have unabashedly espoused new inhumane, if not criminal, policies towards migrants and refugees seeking asylum. Spiegel’s revelations and the European Parliament’s investigation have shown the involvement of border police in Italy, Malta, Greece and the head of Frontex, an EU agency, in real crimes against humanity. But this time there is no crisis or problem. The true face of an EU that routinely uses “Rule of Law” and “Human Rights” as imperialist propaganda is made visible.

“Fit for 55”: the Green Deal is accelerating… in order to reduce by more than 20% the purchasing power of your salary

16 July, 2021 · European Union

Ursula von der Leyen, Timmersmans and three commissioners - Kadri Simson, Paolo Gentiloni and Adina-Ioana Valean - present the "Fit for 55" package in Brussels under the slogan "Delivering the European Green Pact".
Ursula von der Leyen, Timmersmans and three commissioners - Kadri Simson, Paolo Gentiloni and Adina-Ioana Valean - present the "Fit for 55" package in Brussels under the slogan "Delivering the European Green Pact".

The European Commission presented this week “Fit for 55”, a package of measures aimed at developing the European Climate Law. The stated aim is to reduce by 2030 emissions in the EU countries as a whole to 55% of what they were in 1990. The media linger on the end of cheap flights and the ban on the sale of cars with combustion engines by 2035. But first and foremost it is a way to inflate the speculative emissions market at the cost of higher fuel, heating, transport, food and construction prices.

Self-organized mass strike grows across Iran

15 July, 2021 · Iran

Originating in the oil industry, the largest mass strike in the last 30 years is taking place throughout Iran. It is a movement self-organized by the workers and centralized through assemblies.
Originating in the oil industry, the largest mass strike in the last 30 years is taking place throughout Iran. It is a movement self-organized by the workers and centralized through assemblies.

The new wave of struggles involves more workers in a single assembly movement than the mass strike which swept through Iran’s petrochemical sector, steel mills and power plants last August. Organized at first through Telegram groups, workers tended to centralize the struggles from the first moment, organizing themselves in general village and city assemblies and then in assemblies between centers and localities, permanently connected. To this day, the workers have defeated both the companies’ attempts to divide the workforces and the threats of repression.

The “Patria Grande” in view of Mercosur’s failures

14 July, 2021 · South America and the Caribbean

Argentina's presidency of the MercoSur Summit last week. MercoSur is the last institution that maintains aspirations to articulate the "Patria Grande".
Argentina's presidency of the MercoSur Summit last week. MercoSur is the last institution that maintains aspirations to articulate the "Patria Grande".

Thirty years of Mercosur… and maybe this is the last one. After months of tensions whipped up by the radicalization of agro-exporting interests in the face of the crisis and pandemic conditions, the Brazil-Uruguay-Paraguay axis no longer speaks of flexibilizing, but directly of ignoring the treaties. The end of Mercosur is a fact… for the time being, since the continent is not governed by blocs of countries with stable strategies, but is struggling between two transnational currents that fracture each national capital. The synchrony and parallelism provide a background of reality to the old project of the “Patria Grande”, but also expose its utopian and reactionary character.

Protests in Cuba

12 July, 2021 · Cuba

Protests in Cuba. La Havana.
Protests in Cuba. La Havana.

News of an outbreak of protests in Cuba leapt through agencies to media outlets around the world yesterday. Beginning in San Antonio de los Baños, protests spread in a matter of hours from the West to the East of the country and ended up surrounding the Capitol in Havana. The regime’s response was swift: exculpatory speeches, calls for civil confrontation and door-to-door repression all night long.

The battle for the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and the future of the EU

6 July, 2021 · Western Balkans

Tirana, Albania. Albania is the only non-exYugoslav republic of what EU categorizes as Western Balkans.
Tirana, Albania. Albania is the only non-exYugoslav republic of what EU categorizes as Western Balkans.

Today’s news alone makes it clear that the EU is coming apart at the seams in the East… both among its members and with those aspiring countries in the Western Balkans. Tensions from which China, Turkey and Russia are far from being alien. But France and Germany are looking for more than just public works markets. They seek to create a low-wage region in order to shorten their production chains, increase margins and become less dependent on Asia.

The Tigray war takes a sharp turn

4 July, 2021 · Horn of Africa

Tiger War. Captived Ethiopian soldiers are led to Mekele.
Tiger War. Captived Ethiopian soldiers are led to Mekele.

The Ethiopian army, reinforced by Amhara militias and Eritrean and Somali troops has been driven out of the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle. The Tigray war has been turned on its head as the unstable imperialist balances between Arab countries and the U.S. have shifted against the government in Addis Ababa. And despite the announcements, the war is not over yet, although it has already left mass killings, ethnic cleansing with tens of thousands of dead, crimes against humanity, famine and destruction. At issue now are the future of Ethiopia and the fear of an extension of the war to other regions of the country.

Reduction of working hours and minimum wage rising in US

2 July, 2021 · USA

Workers at Amazon
Workers at Amazon

The increase in the minimum wage in both Amazon and Target was accompanied by the reduction of working hours as well as the elimination of both health insurance and bonuses…which meant that workers’ real hourly earnings were actually reduced despite the wage hike. And it’s even worse. In the U.S. economy as a whole, inflation has already eaten into wage growth. And what is coming with the Green Deal is more of the same.